Saturday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Humility.
PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.
My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.
Saturday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost.—Humility.
He that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke xiv, II.)
CONSIDER FIRSTLY that, in order to find matter for humiliation, you have no need to seek it outside of yourself; it is within you. Thy humiliation shall be in the midst of thee (Mich. vi, 14). Were you to look outside of yourself it might be easy to become proud, because possibly you might see yourself to a certain extent set in authority, praised, appreciated and loved by others. But such will not be the case if you look well within yourself.
APPLICATION. It will suffice if you consider seriously what in fact you were in truth, what you are, and what you will be. Each of these three considerations will be enough to humble you.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I am poor and needy and my heart is troubled within me. (Ps. cviii, 22.)
CONSIDER SECONDLY the sins of your past life. To what a miserable condition were you reduced when you fell into the power of Satan, and then became his vile slave, deserving those flames prepared for him and you in hell? Now, God grant that by His infinite mercy you are out of that state. Reflect, however, how ungrateful you have shown yourself to Him Who rescued you from it.
APPLICATION. Consider then how far you correspond to the mercy and love of God. See to what extent you are still a slave to your disorderly affections, how vain, unmortified, impatient and inclined to commit the worst possible sins. How will it go in the future with your unstable and weak will? The pillars of the firmament have fallen; what will then become of you who are such a frail reed? May not a strong temptation be perhaps enough to overthrow you? And once overcome, who knows if you will ever be able to rise again, or how you will die? Is not all this enough to humble you?
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. The Lord preserves the little ones; I was humbled and He delivered me. (Ps. cxiv, 6.)
CONSIDER THIRDLY that if in you there is anything of good, it has not its source within or from you. It all comes to you from above, for the arid soil of your soul is not capable of itself of producing anything but thorns. There in the midst of thee you have nothing but matter for self-humiliation. But this humility must not be merely speculative; it must also be practical.
APPLICATION. Within your heart therefore entertain a really low esteem of yourself. Attach no importance whatever to external praise that may be given you, but refer it all at once to God in thought, in affection, and in word.
AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS. I am needy and poor; O God help me. Thou art my helper and my deliverer: O Lord, make no delay. (Ps. lxix, 6.)
PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.
My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.
Of the Love of Solitude and Silence.
What do you seek in the world? Is it happiness? There is none in it. Listen to that cry of distress, that wailing lamentation which arises from all parts of the earth, and continues from age to age. It is the voice of the world. What more do you seek? Enlightenment, help, consolation, in order to accomplish your pilgrimage in peace? The world is delivered up to the spirit of darkness, to all the unholy desires that he inspires, to all the crimes and to all the evils of which he is the principle; and that is why the prophet cries out: Lo, I have gone far off flying away; and I abode in the wilderness (Psalm liv. 8). There, amid the silence of creatures, God speaks to the heart, and His word is so marvellous, so sweet and so ravishing, that the soul no longer desires to hear anything but Him, until the day when, the veils being rent asunder, she will contemplate Him face to face. Christianity has peopled the deserts with those chosen souls who, flying from the world and trampling beneath their feet its pleasures, its honours, its treasures, and flesh and blood, offer to
us, in the purity of their lives, an image of the life of the angels. Nevertheless, Christians are not all called to this sublime state of perfection; but in the midst of the noise and tumult of society, all should create for themselves, in the bottom of their hearts, a solitude into which they may retire to converse with Jesus Christ, and to recollect themselves in His presence. It is thus that, drawn away from the thoughts of temporal to the thoughts of eternal things, they will be disgusted with the former, and will be in the world as if they were not in it. Happy is the state in which is accomplished for the faithful man what the Apostle says: Your life is hid with Christ in God (Coloss. iii. 3 ).–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch XX reflection.
September Devotion: The Holy Cross.
Virtues to practice: Piety, fervor in the performance of sacred duties, the spirit of prayer
Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen.
An indulgence of 500 days
Crux mihi certa salus.
Crux est quam semper adoro.
Crux Domini mecum.
Crux mihi refugium.
The cross is my sure salvation.
The cross I ever adore.
The cross of my Lord is with me.
The cross is my refuge.
His Holiness, Pope Pius IX., by an autograph rescript, June 21, 1874, granted to all the faithful who, with at least contrite heart and devotion, shall say these prayers, drawn up in the form of a cross by the Angelic Doctor, S. Thomas Aquinas: AN INDULGENCE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
Adoramus te, sanctissime Domine Jesu Christe, benedicimus tibi; quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
We adore Thee, O most blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, we bless Thee; because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.
His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of indulgences, March 4, 1882, granted to all the faithful who, with at least contrite heart and devotion, shall recite this ejaculation: AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS, once a day.
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